Entries from March 2010 ↓

Feel-Good Facebook Groups Irritate Me

Every day I’m invited to join one ridiculous Facebook group or another. Usually I just ignore them, but the one I saw today irked me at first sight.

It’s got a great feel-good title: Keep Sex Offenders Off of Facebook

Who wouldn’t be a fan of that? It’s to protect the children.

If you go to the About Section:

A place to express our mutual concern about allowing Registered Sex Offenders to have access to information contained on Facebook.
Keep Facebook safe for everyone
Security for parents and families knowing there kids can browse facebook safely

Over a million people already belong to this.

I get the sentiment and I agree with it in part, but not in full. It seems as though zero thought was given to the whole idea (not even going to touch on what I hope is merely a typo).

What level sex offender? Oh, that’s not mentioned. So, we’re to keep people off who have a public urination charge?

So just for giggles, we’ll pretend that there was actual thought given to this portion and that it only applies to those offenders to whom the label predator would apply.

Who would bear the burden of enforcement?

Parole officers?


A watchdog group?

What would stop someone from creating a fictitious account? It’s not rocket science.

Parents, educate your children about online safety, even if you don’t have the Internet in your home. Kids have access at the library, their friends’ houses, even on their friends’ smart phones.

Even if some measure were passed saying predators could not use Facebook,  this  would do little to protect kids. It could even make the situation worse by providing a false sense of security. You do realize that there are plenty of offenders in the world who have yet to be convicted.


True to My Tagline, It’s Time for a Whine

It could be allergies today, the pollen count is sky high, but again with the not being able to swallow?

I am so over this whole ordeal; my tonsils are coming out the end of April, as the first available date was smack in the middle of Tim’s outage where he couldn’t take any time off for any reason. This has totally put the kibosh on the major cookout / picnic /barbecue series I was organizing for May, but hopefully by June I can try. Friends and family are on notice that I’ll need their help in the first ten days.  We haven’t figured out what Tim can take off yet.

Ever try to write with a pounding headache? Yeah, not so much is happening and my hopes of making this month’s soft deadline are withering quickly. I’m trying though.

Mark’s Turn

I accidentally published this as a page yesterday.

Just another video for relatives. Mark’s been working hard on learning the violin, too. Last night were just goofing around and he wanted to make up a song to share. -We’ve been working on bowing and I’ve just been letting him have at it sometimes to get a better feel.

Definite points for creativity and enthusiasm.

Random Bits & MLM Schemes

I am finally coming around to uncoupling affiliate sales and multi-level marketing in my head. For some reason I had the two concepts linked and refused to even investigate affiliate sales.  Now that I have finally educated myself and understand the concept it makes a lot more sense and has lost the skeeve factor.

For those who have no clue what I’m talking about, multi-level marketing plans are often linked to pyramid schemes. Of course no MLMer will ever say that, they’ll skirt the issue and explain how it’s nothing like a pyramid scheme, but here’s what it comes down to. With MLM (remember Amway?) a person not only works to sell products but to recruit other sales people and in return gets a percentage of that new sales person’s cut.

A ridiculously over simplified example. Joe invents Company X and sells products 30% over their cost. Joe keeps all 30% either as profit or to reinvest in Company X. Joe meets Bob who agrees to sell the product at the same price as Joe. Bob gets 20% of each sale either as profit or to reinvest in his version of Company X; Joe gets that missing 10%. Bob of course wants to be like Joe and have people under him, so he recruits people who each get 15% and Bob gets 5 and Joe of course gets 10.  In the real world it’s much more dynamic than this and people move up and down according to how many people are under them and where on the feeding chain they currently swim. Yes, it’s nothing like a pyramid scheme, I get it, you said that already.

I am uncomfortable with this concept and feel it falls into a morally grey zone, especially when naive, new sales people are goaded into  pressuring friends and family to buy products they may have zero interest in through guilt  or a desire to help them succeed. It doesn’t matter if the products are superior or not, if I’m emotionally blackmailed into a purchase, I do not gain a favorable impression of the company.

So, that’s MLM what are affiliate sales? With affiliate sales or at least what I’ve seen so far (and anything outside of this will probably make me drop the whole idea) is I place advertising for a product on my site or newsletter. If a reader clicks through and makes a purchase, I as the referrer, get a cut of the sale. The cost of the product is the same whether they came through my ad or not. I’m ok with this, it doesn’t feel as manipulative. Now, there is always emotional manipulation in marketing, but this doesn’t seem to put anyone in an exploitive position. I could be wrong, but my highly attuned guilt radar is not sounding.

Over on Home Ec, I’m slowly adding some affiliate ads to the site. Most of these will go to old posts that receive a lot of search engine traffic that doesn’t necessarily stick around. The ads will be for products related to the search, appliances under appliance repair, fabric under crafts, kitchen gear I love, etc.

Other random things:

I’ve really gotten into listening to podcasts lately, whether playing chauffeur, doing the dishes, or folding laundry, they keep my mind occupied.

Here are a few I thoroughly enjoy:

Spycast – Run by the International Spy Museum, this podcast is endlessly fascinating focusing on espionage intelligence. I also happen to just enjoy Peter Earnest’s voice.

Stuff You Missed in History Class – I picked this one up on a recommendation by James. I never would have called myself a history buff, but these short shows pack a lot of information that would be useful the next time I play Trivial Pursuit. I’ll still fail the pop culture category.

BlogCastFM – The Up and Coming Blogger Series. I have a narcissistic interest in this one. If you’re not interested in professional blogging, skip it; it will have zero relevance to your life. As blogger / website developer it’s a good reminder of where I need to be placing my focus and sometimes the enthusiasm can help keep me plugging away. The blogging world is so weird with no real definition of what constitutes success. On one hand, I’m “living the dream” with the book deal, but on the other I still feel like a complete nobody.*

*Hush. I get to decide when I don’t feel like a nobody / noob.*

What podcasts do you listen to? Any?

Google Fiber in the Corner?

That would be amazing. It’s no secret that I’ve been frustrated with our service provider.

If you live in Moncks Corner, get involved and start with visiting MakeItMoncksCorner.com

Just for Fun

qrcodeJust because it tickles me so.

Knocked on My Butt. Again.

Strep is back in the house and of course I’m the only one to get it. I had the worst case of my life in January and it took a couple rounds of antibiotics to clear it up. Tim came down with strep in Feb and apparently it’s my turn again.

Yes, we wash our hands, yes we have new toothbrushes.

I went to the doctor a couple weeks ago due to joint pain and I think it’s related to the strep. He ran a lot of blood tests which all came back ok. The pain responded well to an NSAID which I quit taking a week ago. I was feeling good enough to make plans to start running again on Monday.  Like magic it flared up as I came down with this case and I’m miserable waiting for the antibiotics to work their magic.

Funny how I grew up in that period where they decided tonsil removal wasn’t a great idea and now in my thirties I’m being told, “It’s too bad you didn’t have your tonsils out as a kid, because it’s really going to hurt now.” Great.

Yesterday was a complete waste. I was on the couch in and out of consciousness waking up only to take the 2yo to the bathroom and to break up arguments when they got too far out of hand. Optimal parenting, I tell you.

Today doesn’t look much better, but we have to at least do Aidan’s make up work for the missed school day.

If you need me, I’ll be on the couch.

Bring popsicles and don’t mind the mess.

Homeschooling, Just One Reason

I don’t talk about Aidan’s education much. We are using the state funded k12 program; it’s a home-based charter school that gives us an amazing amount of flexibility with our schedules. This morning I was reading BuzzMachine, a blog by Jeff Jarvis, when I came upon this statement in TedxNYed: This is Bullshit:

We must stop looking at education as a product – in which we turn out every student giving the same answer – to a process, in which every student looks for new answers. Life is a beta.

I can’t begin to wrap my mind around the idea of the amount of information at my fingertips.  What I’m doing at Home Ec 101 isn’t creating information, it’s simply listening to the questions people are asking and distilling the information into a form some people find more palatable.

Do I know what the kids will end up doing or being?


I want to teach them to find the information they need, to vet it, process it, and perhaps share it in a new form.